Ten young adults were lucky to escape serious injury early Saturday when the pickup they were riding in flipped near 192 Street and 32 Avenue in South Surrey.
According to police, eight 15- to 20-year-olds were thrown from the box of a Dodge pickup after its 17-year-old driver lost control, hit a curb and did a complete rollover, coming to rest right-side-up.
“Amazing that our officers didn’t knock on doors that night to give parents the worst of news,” Surrey RCMP Cpl. Bert Paquet said Tuesday.
Paquet said the group were hanging out by a sandpit near the intersection just prior to the incident, which apparently occurred as the driver attempted to maneuver back onto the road.
All 10 occupants were able to walk from the scene; five were uninjured and three were taken to hospital (police released incorrect information earlier).
The most serious injuries were possible broken ribs and a concussion.
“These eight people were extremely lucky,” Paquet said.
A witness who arrived after the fact described the scene of the rollover as strewn with straw and hay. Five ambulances, two fire trucks and police attended.
Police say all but two of the truck occupants were Langley residents; one hailed from the Aldergrove area, and one from Surrey.
Paquet said investigation is ongoing, however, police believe alcohol and/or drug-use was a contributing factor.
Any charges will land squarely on the driver, he said.
At the same time, the passengers have to take responsibility for putting themselves in danger.
“None of these eight young adults were forced into the back of the pickup truck,” he said.
“This is the time to thank their lucky star and learn a valuable lesson from this.”
The incident was the first of two over the weekend that saw injuries result from reckless activities. The second occurred May 19 in the 10100-block of 128A Street, and left a 23-year-old man with critical head injuries. According to police, he fell from the back of a moving SUV and struck his head on the asphalt.
Police believe alcohol and/or drug use was also a factor in the North Surrey incident.